It’s summertime, which means that there is an abundance of outdoor activities to fill your day. Some people are so excited that they forget to take proper precautions against the heat when enjoying the weather. This can result in serious illness, severe sunburns, cramps and muscle spasms, heat stroke, and in extreme circumstances, even death. It is important to be aware of the risks and prevent them as well as you can. Here are some important actions to take against excessive summer heat:
First of all, you want your house to be a sanctuary where you can get out of the heat. Make sure your air conditioner is installed correctly and running well before the heat of summer hits. Install weather-stripping on doors and windowsills to keep the cool air in and, more importantly, keep the warm air out!
If you don’t have an air conditioner, it’s best to open your windows during the coolest part of the day, have fans circulating the air through your house, and then close them up to keep the heat out. Use drapes or blinds to block direct sunlight from shining in and warming the interior.
Limit outdoor activities to times of day that are cooler, such as morning and evening. Spend the warmest part of the day inside your home or in public, air-conditioned buildings such as libraries, malls, or movie theatres.
While spending time in the sun, protect your head and face with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen and reapply throughout the day, especially when swimming or sweating excessively. Wear light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight, rather than absorbing it with dark clothing.
Limit the amount of exercise you engage in. If you must exercise in the heat, drink twice as much water as you usually would. You can replenish salts and minerals that you sweat out by drinking sports drinks.
Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic drinks. This is probably the most important tip, and it is often overlooked. DRINK WATER!
Make sure to protect your pets by keeping them indoors or in the shade and by giving them a constant supply of water.
It shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but never leave children or pets in the car! There are too many reports of children and pets dying because of neglect in the heat.
Be aware of the temperature, because the hotter it gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Be aware of who is at the greatest risk of experiencing heat-related problems, such as the very young and the elderly.